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Internal Complaints About Quota System Not Constitutionally Protected

Derek Cid was a police officer for Riley County, Kansas. Cid’s sergeant sent an email to the officers he supervised providing each officer’s arrest statistics. The sergeant’s email recognized that self-initiated stops and activity had increased, but he also warned officers that they had missed their DUI “goal” of 105 for two quarters in a row. Sergeant Bortnick told officers that they needed to “buckle down” to meet the…

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Court Orders New Orleans To Promote Firefighters Passed Over For Promotion

In 2014, the New Orleans Civil Service Commission voted to adopt a package of rule amendments submitted by the City under its Great Place to Work Initiative. One of the goals of the initiative was to “eliminate the falsely objective rankings based on exams” and “allow managers to interview all the Civil Service Department certified eligible candidates and hire the best qualified one.” On April 20, 2016, Civil Service…

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Chief Ordered To Sign POST Waiver

Lieutenant Mark Wheeler has worked for the Shreveport Police Department for over 25 years. In September of 2015, Wheeler had to have surgery on his feet, requiring him to take sick leave. He expected to be back to work in six weeks, but complications from the surgery occurred. He was out on leave until March 30, 2016. Just before his leave ended in March, he was medically cleared to…

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Political Patronage For Deputies Not Legal In Missouri

It may seem strange to those in states with collective bargaining, but political patronage systems for deputy sheriffs still exist in parts of the country. In a patronage system, deputy sheriffs can be hired or fired on the basis of political loyalty to the sheriff. Most patronage systems are in agencies located in the South or in non-unionized Midwest states. The case of Missouri deputy sheriff Gary Klossing illustrates…

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Omissions May Amount to Untruthfulness

Patrick Stacks was a deputy sheriff with the Burnet County Sheriff’s Office in Texas. On June 21, 2013, Stacks wrote an affidavit and a report about a search of a motorist that produced methamphetamine. Both the affidavit and the report omitted any reference to a confidential informant who was present. After the motorist was arrested, the informant called an officer with whom he usually worked to relate that he…

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Officers’ Convictions Do Not Result In Pension Forfeiture

A Massachusetts statute calls for forfeiture of an officer’s pension “after final conviction of a criminal offense involving violation of the laws applicable to his office or position.” Two such cases were recently put before the state’s highest court. John Swallow was a police sergeant for the Massachusetts town of Manchester-by-the-Sea. Following a string of personal tragedies in 2011 and 2012, Swallow began drinking heavily and struggled with significant…

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Firefighter Wage Award Upheld On Appeal

The City of Plattsburgh, New York and Local 2421 of the IAFF have been in long, delayed, and contentious negotiations for years. In 2016, the parties participated in an interest arbitration hearing that resulted in an arbitration award covering the 2012–2013 contract period. The arbitration panel issued an opinion and award – with one member dissenting – that granted the firefighters a 2% wage increase for 2012 and 2013,…

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Expectation To Complete Normal Job Tasks Cannot Be Retaliation

Houston firefighter Terrance Bailey, who is African-American, worked at Fire Station 21 for ten years. In February 2009, Bailey met with Captain Joe Schwaigger, Captain Shelley Squires, and District Chief Kenneth Currie to express his unhappiness about working at Station 21. He threatened to file a complaint with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission if Currie did not transfer him to Station 47 as a permanent fill-in. Currie told Bailey…

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Age Discrimination Law Does Not Protect Those Under 40

Beginning in 2001, David Servin began his efforts to become a Chicago police officer by taking and passing the City’s written examination. The Department put his name on the eligibility list for a position as a probationary police officer. Under the City’s system, the eligibility list contains the names of all the individuals who have passed the written examination. The names on the list are randomly ranked, and, once…

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Past Practice Must Be Consistent

A recent decision from an administrative law judge for New York’s Public Employment Relations Board illustrates one of the central tenets of labor law: to be binding, a practice that has occurred in the past must be consistent. The case involved the Blooming Grove Police Benevolent Association (PBA), which filed an unfair labor practice complaint against the Town of Blooming Grove alleging that the Town violated its obligation to…

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What Does ‘Substantial’ Evidence Mean?

Public safety employees around the country appeal discipline in a variety of ways. In the 32 states with statewide collective bargaining laws, the primary appeal route for discipline is through arbitration, though in some jurisdictions, appeals are through a civil service board or police/fire commission. In the 18 states without statewide bargaining, public safety employees are often “at will” employees with no ability to challenge discipline; in other cases,…

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WEINGARTEN APPLIES TO WRITTEN REPORTS, NOT JUST INTERVIEWS

Adam Lasad is a college security officer for the San Bernardino Community College District Police Department in California. Sergeant Chris Tamayo began questioning Lasad regarding his whereabouts during his work shift. Lasad, after answering some of Tamayo’s questions, requested a representative from his union, the California School Employees Association (CSEA). Tamayo contacted his own boss, Police Chief Pierre Galvez, about Lasad’s request for representation. Galvez agreed that Lasad had…

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Keep Track of Articles & Podcasts

We’ve added the ability for users to track their favorite content on LRIS.com! On any article or podcast post, you can now “Favorite” it, bookmarking it for later. This is a great tool to save content for later or to go back to reference an article. To Favorite an article or podcast, simply go to the bottom of any post to find the blue Favorite button. Once you Favorite…

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Unions And The Duty Of Fair Representation

A recent Michigan case provides a good case study of the discretion accorded unions in decision-making on grievances and when a union’s decisions implicate or do not implicate the duty of fair representation. The case involved Antoinette Loyd, who works for the Wayne County Sheriff’s Department. Loyd filed an unfair labor practice complaint against her collective bargaining representative, the Wayne County Sheriffs Association, alleging that the Association wrongly declined…

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Pre-Employment Polygraph Disclosable In Spite Of Public Records Act

Tye Sheats works as a police officer for the East Wenatchee police department in Douglas County, Washington. In 2016, he applied for an opening at the Wenatchee police department in Chelan County. As part of the application process, he submitted to a polygraph test. During the test, Sheats admitted to numerous wrongdoings between 2000 and 2016, including several incidents of theft and dishonesty. On June 2, 2017, and pursuant…

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The Employer Interviewing Union’s Witnesses: What Are The Rules?

The City of Commerce, California and the Commerce City Employees Association are parties to a memorandum of understanding (MOU), California’s equivalent to a collective bargaining agreement. The MOU has a grievance procedure culminating in binding arbitration. The Association filed a grievance over the City’s decision to terminate a member of the Association’s bargaining unit, Sergio Mejia. The grievance proceeded to arbitration, which was scheduled for two non-consecutive days. Following…

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Retiree Can Forfeit Pension For Conviction Of Theft

Jon Wilmot began work as a firefighter with the Contra Costa County Fire Protection District in California in 1985. By 2012, he had risen to the rank of captain. During this period, he was a member of the retirement program established by Contra Costa County, which is administered by the Board of Retirement of the Contra Costa County Employees’ Retirement Association. Wilmot’s last day on the job was December…

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Internal Affairs Investigation Cannot Invade Attorney-Client Privilege

Dana Hoover, a detective for the San Diego Police Department, sued the City in May of 2014 alleging claims of employment-related harassment and retaliation. In particular, she claimed she suffered harassment and retaliation based on complaints she made about perceived investigative failures by the Department’s homicide unit, of which she had been a member. In June 2015, Hoover was represented in her lawsuit by attorney Daniel Gilleon. In late…

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Employer Must Arbitrate Changed EMS Duties

The city of Yonkers, New York and the Yonkers Fire Fighters, Local 628 of the IAFF are parties to a collective bargaining agreement. The management rights clause of the contract allows the City to control the management of the fire department with certain limitations. It also allows the City to alter the Department’s Emergency Medical Services (EMS) after negotiation with Local 628. The contract requires that the EMS program…

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Workers’ Comp Covers Injury During Officer’s Commute

Phillip Zonn is a corporal with the Prince George’s County Police Department, and is enrolled in the Department’s Personal Car Program. Under the Program, officers are provided with the use of a patrol vehicle. Officers who live in Prince George’s County are permitted to take their patrol vehicles home and to use their vehicles for travel between their residence and their duty location. Officers who do not live in…

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Officer Who Reported Chief’s Illegal Conduct Loses Retaliation Claim

Darren Pead was a police officer for Ephraim City, a small town in rural Sanpete County, Utah. In a recent lawsuit, Pead learned first-hand how the Supreme Court’s Garcetti rule provides little protection for job-related speech. Pead claimed he discovered that Police Chief Ron Rasmussen had failed to fill out or complete hundreds of police reports, dating back as far as 2008, in violation of City policy and law…

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Arbitrator Upholds Termination Of Tamir Rice Officer, But On Other Grounds

On November 22, 2014, Cleveland Police Officer Timothy Loehmann shot and killed 12-year-old Tamir Rice. The shooting sparked protests, national media attention, visits to Cleveland by the U.S. Attorney General and a criminal investigation by the Cuyahoga County Sheriff’s Office, the Cuyahoga County Prosecutor’s Office and the Ohio Bureau of Criminal Identification and Investigation. When the grand jury issued a “no true bill” finding, the Police Chief established a…

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Q & A

From OklahomaQuestion: I work for a municipal law enforcement agency in Oklahoma. Nothing in the FLSA relieves employers from their contractual obligations under a collective bargaining agreement. My employer has a practice that conflicts with what is agreed to in the CBA. There is a group of officers in the department that hold upper positions. These officers do not receive overtime. They work nine hours each day and only…

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Officer Cannot Go Directly To Court, Must Exhaust Internal Appeals

In January 18, 2012, a fellow police officer informed the Bridgeton Police Department in New Jersey that Officer Robert Smith would be arriving at the police station to sell him anabolic steroids. When Smith arrived, the Department arrested him and charged him with several indictable crimes involving the possession and distribution of a controlled dangerous substance. When the City notified Smith that it intended to terminate him, Smith and…

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